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Appears in Collections:Management, Work and Organisation Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Rigidities of imagination in scenario planning: Strategic foresight through 'Unlearning'
Author(s): Burt, George
Nair, Anup Karath
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Keywords: Strategic foresight
Organisational learning
Learning traps
Issue Date: Apr-2020
Date Deposited: 30-Jan-2020
Citation: Burt G & Nair AK (2020) Rigidities of imagination in scenario planning: Strategic foresight through 'Unlearning'. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 153, Art. No.: 119927.
Abstract: The emergence of strategic foresight from scenarios has constantly puzzled theorists. Whilst practitioners and scholars of scenario planning contend that scenarios generate strategic foresight by both stretching a manager's mental model by exposing them to a wide range of equally plausible futures, and triggering and accelerating processes of organisational learning, the true nature of this link between strategic foresight and organisational learning remains vague and undertheorised. Our paper tackles this puzzle by explicitly focussing on how strategic foresight emerges from the organisational learning process that unfolds during scenario planning. We undertook a 24-month long longitudinal study capturing both 'actions' and 'reflections' of a leading Scotch whisky manufacturer during their scenario planning exercises. Surprisingly, and perhaps counterintuitively, our findings unearth the role of 'unlearning' rather than 'learning' as a key mechanism that leads to the emergence of strategic foresight within the scenario planning process. Further reflection on the 'unlearning process' reveals that unlearning involves a 'letting go' or relaxing of deeply held assumptions and this in turn inadvertently leads to strategic foresight. Overall, by developing and introducing 'unlearning' as a key mechanism for the generation of strategic foresight, our paper aims to improve the effectiveness of scenario planning interventions as practiced .
DOI Link: 10.1016/j.techfore.2020.119927
Rights: This item has been embargoed for a period. During the embargo please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study. Accepted refereed manuscript of: Burt G & Nair AK (2020) Rigidities of imagination in scenario planning: Strategic foresight through ‘Unlearning’. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 153, Art. No.: 119927. DOI: © 2020, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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